Taste of the Island Caribbean: A Flavor Foodie’s Take-Out Dream

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The Restaurant & Atmosphere: Taste of the Island is nestled in a small, take-out and counter service restaurant on the corner of Capitol Street and President Street downtown.It is easily accessible and offers limited seating bar style, cocktail table style, and street side patio seating. Counter service is friendly and speedy, every single visit.

The Menu & Food: When I want great flavor and good portions at decent prices and fast service, Taste of the Island can do no wrong. In fact, it delivers big time on flavor, on portions, and on prices. Depending on the day, you can catch lunch specialties such as curry goat, curry shrimp, and jerk ribs. Other menu items include their ox tails, red snapper, curry chicken, and jerk pork. Each protein is paired with seasoned beans and rice as well as sautéed cabbage and carrots. Fried plantains and bok choy are also available as side options as well.

In full disclosure, I’m quite a regular at this spot. So far I’ve had the ox tails, I’ve had the jerk ribs, I’ve had the chicken, and I’ve had the jerk pork. By far, my favorite is the jerk pork. On this particular foodie expedition, I went to my favorite – jerk pork, again. The guys don’t know my name, but I’ve been there enough where they know my order before I make it to the counter and they already have my ticket ready. “Jerk pork, no rice and beans, double cabbage, yah?” I hear as I walk through the door and make my way to the counter, weaving through the patrons packed into the tiny corner diner. I admit, he had me pegged. This day, I decided to get the rice as well, so I could leave a full review.

I got my plate to-go, and paired it with authentic Jamaican D&G pineapple soda, which is quite hard to find around these parts. About the rice and beans, mine was drizzled with a taste of jerk sauce. The rice was well-seasoned and had a good consistency. The cabbage, oh boy. If I knew the combination of seasonings and spices they use to sauté it, I’d eat cabbage every single day. The cabbage has just the right amount of crunch to it, and the flavor is authentic. Now, onto the pork. It was tender, it was generously sauced, and it packed great flavor. Taste of the Island has exhibited consistency in each of my dining experiences. This visit was no different as they delivered on flavor and convenience, as always.

Carlyn Hicks

Carlyn Hicks, founder of Jackson Foodies, lover of all things culinary, pro-Jackson advocate